Buakaw Por Pramuk

Sunday, July 15, 2012

UK entrepreneur Hearn latches onto Muay Thai

British sports event entrepreneur Barry Hearn flew into Bangkok last weekend and clinched a deal with BEC Tero director Brian Marcar to stage seven Muay Thai world titles at the Battle for the Belts II to be staged in London in October.
The event will be televised live in Europe and Thailand.
Hearn has pioneered world snooker championships and professional darts events as well as the Prize Fighter Boxing Series and he now views Muay Thai as the next big wave for combat fighting.
While in Bangkok, Hearn said he had been impressed with the elite quality and professionalism of both Thai and foreign fighters who won the inaugural Battle for the Belts event held last month at Muang Thong Thani's Impact Arena.
Hearn intends to bill the London event as the "Magnificient Seven of Muay Thai _ the ultimate stand-up martial art."
Already Hearn has set up a meeting with representatives of over 200 affiliated Muay Thai training gyms in the UK and is looking for the best British fighters to battle for glory at the super seven WBC Muay Thai championships.
Hearn is looking at having at least three top British challengers fired up to win in front on their "home" London stage soon after the Olympics.
Some of the world title match-ups that Hearn is discussing with BEC Tero includes assigning the best British challengers to fight the top two WBC Thai champions _ Sakeddao Petchpayatai (super-lightweight) and Kem Sitsongpeenong (super-welterweight).
Sakkeddao is likely to fight UK star Greg Wotton and Kem will go up against top British contender Jordon Watson.
Outstanding reigning French welterweight champion Fabio Pinca is expected to do battle against the "British Lion" Liam Harisson.
The main event will feature Steve Wakeling, the Muay Thai pride of Great Britain.
Wakeling fought a draw with Russia's light-heavyweight champion Artem Levin two weeks ago.
And either Levin or American Joe Shilling can be billed to fight Wakeling for the Battle for the Belts II to unify the WBC Muay Thai world light-heavyweight title.
Wakeling is a former WBC middleweight champion who also won the S1 Championship in Bangkok when he was fighting as a super-welterweight.
The British star has relished going up the weight divisions to fight as a light-heavyweight, which suits his style of repetitious punch/knee/kick strikes.
After dominating the light-heavyweight division for several years, Levin now finds himself being hotly challenged by both Schilling and Wakeling.
Levin withdrew from a title fight against the aggressive Schilling, and is now wary of Wakeling who many believe beat him in a recent London draw decision.
Levin will most likely be given the opportunity to fight Wakeling for the WBC title in the Battle for the Belts but will eventually have to fight Schilling who won the interim title while Levin was recovery from surgery to overcome a knee lock ailment.
Another titan showdown is looming in the super-cruiserweight division with Russia's Ramazan Ramazanov likely to challenge Australian world champion Steve McKinnon.
Wakeling will start as warm favourite to win against either Levin or Schilling and Harrison will have a good chance of beating Pinca.
BEC Tero is in talks with event organises in Japan, the US and Australia with a plan to have a calendar of six Battle for the Belts events every year.


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